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The Penalty (1920) | Blu-ray Review

Lon Chaney fans can revel in Kino’s Blu-ray transfer of The Penalty, featuring one of the thousand faces that first catapulted the extremely talented performer into one of the most celebrated careers in film history. As a double amputee, Chaney is in top form, the motif of the disenfranchised, the butchered, the mutated, the unloved outstretched in full glory here, once again, to the detriment of his own health.

The film opens with a title card announcing that there’s been “A victim of the city traffic,” and we see a young boy has been seriously wounded. A young Dr. Ferris (Charles Clary), however, has mistakenly amputated the boy’s legs, a fact indiscreetly announced by the physician’s older colleague, Dr. Allen (Kenneth Harlan). The young boy overhears their discussion and Dr. Allen’s plan to lie to the boy’s parents by saying that the amputation saved the boy’s life.
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Blu-ray Release: The Penalty

Blu-ray Release Date: Oct. 23, 2012

Price: Blu-ray $34.95

Studio: Kino Lorber

Lon Chaney stumps for revenge in 1920's The Penalty.

In a role that established him as one of the most dynamically terrifying performers of the silent screen, Lon Chaney stars in the fiendish 1920 silent film The Penalty, a grotesque thriller from director Wallace Worsley (The Hunchback of Notre Dame).

When an incompetent doctor amputates the legs of a young boy, he has no idea that the youth will grow up to be the immoral and embittered Blizzard, a criminal mastermind who orchestrates a bizarre and heinous plot to avenge himself upon his malefactor. His plan involves befriending the surgeon’s daughter (Ethel Grey Terry) and serves as an artist’s model for her sculptural rendition of Satan, waiting for just the right moment to unleash his demonic desires.

In playing the devious Blizzard, Chaney tightly harnessed his legs within a pair of leather stumps,
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